CWS01.jpgArchbishop Nicholas Chia is President of Catholic Welfare Services (CWS), the charity arm of the Catholic community in Singapore. In his message for Charities Week, the archbishop explains what CWS does and how Catholics and others of good will can contribute to charitable causes and why they should do it, especially this Lent.

CATHOLIC WELFARE SERVICES, each year, would appeal for donations during the season of Lent through Catholic churches, Catholic schools and the general public, and the funds collected would be distributed to the several charitable organisations under its auspices.

In the early days, most of the money collected was used for addressing the issues of poverty. As our society advances and becomes more sophisticated, CWS has evolved to take on more pro-active roles.

Though we are living in a relatively affluent country, there are still many who are living at the bottom income strata. Our society is facing the challenge of a widening income gap between the rich and the poor. Structural unemployment has also hit many of the low-skill, low- income workers.

Offering these people financial assistance is just a short-term measure. We need to help these families, especially those with children, to get out of the poverty cycle. With the population ageing, care for the chronic-sick elderly will be a big burden for many families. Nursing care will continue to be in demand. We also need to provide more innovative programmes to enable more elderly people to live a healthy and independent life.

CWS will continue to focus its resources for the needy elderly and their families. Families today are facing multi-faceted challenges. Heavy demand from the workplace, the need for personal lifelong learning and home responsibilities have challenged the families with strains and stresses. As a result, we are seeing increasing trends in divorce, family violence, and at-risk children. Counselling and family education should go hand-in-hand to tackle the delicate issue of dysfunctional families.

CWS is also mindful of the needs of the vulnerable groups in our society. These include workers who are abused, and victimised family members of people inflicted with AIDS. Their voices are not heard, and their needs are usually not attended to. These are the neglected people whom we should shower with the love of God.

In his message for Lent 2006, our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI uses this Gospel text as the theme for his message: "Jesus, at the sight of the crowds, was moved with pity." (Mt 9:36) Certainly CWS can do and should do more in the area of demonstrating the love and social justice of the church.

(continued on page 2)

Steps taken to improve governance

Recently there has been wide publicity on the questionable state of management of certain local charities. We should learn from this episode and move towards better governance and financial management of the charity fund. CWS has been taking incremental steps in such improvement. A common Management Committee has been formed to oversee the running of the three nursing homes under CWS. The CWS restructuring exercise is ongoing and it will seek feedback from the Catholic community.

While CWS strives to improve on charity management, let us not forget the essence of charity, that is, compassion and love.

The essence of charity

The good tradition of charity is a result of our willingness to demonstrate the selfless love of God in a concrete way.

Remember how Jesus praised the poor widow as she gave of her all? "I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood." (Lk 21:3,4)

I am heartened to note that parishes, Religious Congregations and Catholic schools have always given generous support to CWS. I hope you will do the same this year. Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI also says, "We must help others find God in the merciful face of Christ". Therefore, money is not, and should not be the only "donation" that we do. I encourage more of you to consider "donating" your time and talent in various areas of charitable work.

Catholic Welfare Services welcomes all parishioners to volunteer your service at the respective charitable organisations. The true spirit and ethos of charity will take shape when we continue to cultivate the culture of volunteerism in our Catholic community.

During this Lenten period, as we pause and remember the sacrificial love of Jesus, may we also be moved by his call for unconditional love. Let us do our part in loving and caring for the poor and needy.

May God bless you always for your kind generosity.

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CWS Executive Committee

CWS02.jpgPresident: Archbishop Nicholas Chia

Vice-President: Msgr Eugene Vaz

Chairman: Br. Emmanuel Gaudette, SG

Hon. Treasurer: Br. Dominic Kiong, SG

Hon. Secretary/Director: Mr James Chew

Members:

Msgr Francis Lau

Sr. Susan Chia, RGS

Sr. Anne Tan, FDCC

Sr. Maria Lau, IJ

Sr. Assunta Leong, FMM

Msgr Francis Lau

Sr. Susan Chia, RGS

Sr. Anne Tan, FDCC

Sr. Maria Lau, IJ

Sr. Assunta Leong, FMM

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CWS Financials (for the year ending March 31, 2005)

INCOME

CHARITIES WEEK CAMPAIGN 2004*

 1,943,364

ANONYMOUS DONATIONS 119,280
NCSS CENTRAL FUND 1,550,584
NON-TAX DONATIONS 19,705
OTHER INCOME 470,789
   
TOTAL INCOME 4,103,725

GRANTS

GIFT OF LOVE HOME

19,398

ST. VINCENT HOME 126,758
ST. JOSEPH'S HOME 521,100
VILLA FRANCIS HOME FOR THE AGED 202,208
GOOD SHEPHERD CENTRE 3,957
ST. THERESA'S HOME 706,423
MORNING STAR COMMUNITY SERVICES 100,000
FAMILY LIFE SOCIETY 200,000
SOCIAL SERVICES PROGRAMMES 84,916
HIV SERVICES PROGRAMMES 100,000
MP FAMILY SERVICE CENTRE 300,000
MPFSC-GOOD LIFE @ SOUTH EAST 50,000
CYBER COUNSELLING 80,000
RELIEF FOOD PROGRAMME 149,709
SCHOLARSHIP AID 107,978
PRISON SERVICES 16,503
MEDICINES FOR THE NEEDY 4,573
POVERELLO TEEN CENTRE 159,546
EMERGENCY RELIEF & SAMARITAN AID 24,439
WELFARE & EDUCATION GRANTS 208,606
SPECIAL PROJECTS 60,135
   

TOTAL GRANTS

3,226,254

OVERHEADS

342,699

SURPLUS

534,771

INCOME FROM CHARITIES WEEK 2004*

CHURCH OF OLPS $175,672
CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS $174,462
CHURCH OF ST. IGNATIUS $155,128
CHURCH OF THE HOLY FAMILY $129,675
CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT $122,032

CHURCH OF THE IHM

$96,234
CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY $89,983
CHURCH OF ST. TERESA $88,634
BLESSED SACRAMENT CHURCH $74,198
CHURCH OF CHRIST THE KING $59,467

CHURCH OF THE RISEN CHRIST

$59,167
CHURCH OF OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE $55,839

CHURCH OF ST. VINCENT DE PAUL

$54,735
CHURCH OF ST. FRANCIS XAVIER $51,373
CHURCH OF ST. BERNADETTE $48,187
CHURCH OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI $45,725
CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY OF THE BVM $41,687
CHURCH OF ST. MARY OF THE ANGELS $37,083
ST. ANNE'S CHURCH $35,822
CHURCH OF THE SACRED HEART $35,505
CHURCH OF OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA $29,116
ST. JOSEPH'S CHURCH (VICTORIA STREET) $25,798
NOVENA CHURCH $24,453
CHURCH OF ST. JOSEPH (BUKIT TIMAH) $22,787
CHURCH OF ST. MICHAEL $21,436
CHURCH OF ST. ANTHONY $16,781
CHURCH OF ST. STEPHEN $11,182
CHURCH OF STS. PETER & PAUL $8,716
CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES $8,423
FRANCOPHONE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY $6,900
CATHEDRAL OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD $2,750

Catholic Welfare Services received a total of $4,103,725 for the year ending Mar 31, 2005. This includes donations of $1,808,450 from parishes (see list below) and $2,500 from the Carmelite Monastery and the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood. Catholic schools donated $107,019 of which the top donors were CHIJ-Toa Payoh Secondary with $12,363 and Maris Stella High School with $11,162.

$1,550,584 came from tax-empted donations from the public, the receipts of which were issued by the National Council of Social Services. The rest of the income came from rental, interest from deposits, and investment income. CWS incurred total overheads $342,699. No marketing expense was incurred.

After funding projects, giving welfare and educational grants, and other special projects (see list) there was a surplus of $534,771 which was transferred to reserves. The accounts are audited.

(continued on page 5)

CWS Funded Agencies

CWS funds nine agencies in Singapore. They are:

St. Joseph's Home & Hospice

921 Jurong Road

Website: www.stjh.org.sg

921 Jurong RoadWebsite:

St. Joseph's Home was set up by CWS in 1978 to provide shelter, care, and love for the aged and destitute, regardless of race or religion. The Canossian sisters conduct the day-to-day running of the Home. In 1985, the first in-patient hospice care in Singapore was set up to cater to the needs of those with advanced terminal illnesses.

Villa Francis Home for the Aged

9 Mandai Estate

Website: www.villafrancis.com

It provides holistic nursing and spiritual care to help residents back to health or to provide the "best home" away from home.

St. Theresa's Home

49 Upper Thomson Road

Website: www.sainttheresahome.org

Established in 1935 and managed by the Little Sisters of the Poor, St. Theresa's Home came under the management of CWS in 2003. Pastoral care for the residents is now provided by the Brothers of Mercy and the Infant Jesus Sisters. It is now a nursing home which provides a maximum  number of 200 residents an environment of peace and tranquillity to help them recuperate from their illnesses and physical disabilities.

Good Life @ South East

Blk 6 Marine Terrace, #01-206

Website: www.mpfsc.org.sg

Blk 6 Marine Terrace, #01-206Website:

It is jointly organised by CWS, South East Community Development Council, and Marine Parade Citizens' Consultative Committee. The centre adopts a holistic approach in promoting the concept of productive ageing and focuses on the preventative and developmental aspects of ageing.

Marine Parade Family Service Centre (MPFSC)

53 Marine Terrace, #01-227,

Website: www.mpfsc.org.sg

53 Marine Terrace, #01-227, Website:

It is a joint project by CWS, the Brothers of St. Gabriel, and South East Community Development Council, with the function of a first-stop centre for individuals and families who are in need of professional assistance. The MPFSC primarily serves the residents within the vicinity of Marine Parade, Joo Chiat, Geylang Serai, and Mountbatten.

Cyber-Counselling for the Youth

Blk 53, Marine Terrace, #01-227

Website: www.metoyou.org.sg

Cyber-Counselling for the Youth ('metoyou') is an innovative programme currently managed by the MPFSC with the aim of providing young people with an alternative means of communicating with counsellors by providing them with easy access to counsellors through the Internet. It serves to enhance teenagers' level of functioning and handling of relationships at home and in school, and to encourage them to talk about their problems anonymously.

Catholic Aids Response Effort

11 Hillside Drive

Website: www.catholic.org.sg/care

CARE is a lay apostolate ministry. It is a non-parish-based group that adheres to the teachings and doctrines of the Catholic Church and reaches out to people afflicted with HIV/AIDS and their families, irrespective of race, religion, or social standing.

Good Shepherd Centre - Rose Villa

Blk 250, Yishun Avenue 9,#01-213

Website: www.marymountctr.org.sg

Good Shepherd Centre started in 1986 as a halfway house at Jalan Shaer for ex-women drug addicts and prisoners. Over time, women in crisis and those from violent households were also given shelter there. It relocated to its current location in the void deck of a HDB flat in September 1990. In 1999, the Good Shepherd Sisters made a decision to reach out and be of service to women, mothers and their children experiencing spousal violence and abuse, and foreign domestic helpers who have been abused by their employers. In 2003, Rose Villa, a residential programme for teenagers and women in pregnancy crisis, moved its services to the same location as Good Shepherd Centre.

Poverello Teen Centre

Blk 166, #01-357, Tampines Street 12

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

It is a project by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, sponsored by CWS. It was set up in 1999 as a drop-in centre for youths-at-risk from 12 to 21 years of age as the target group. It aims to help youths to develop their potential and skills, instilling in them values of self- orth, discipline and responsibility through creative programmes, in an effort to prevent and reduce delinquent behaviour.

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